Tuesday 23 May 2017

Millennials to drive huge surge in SUV buying study reveals

* Research shows those aged 17-34 are smitten by crossover bug and 25pc are planning to buy one

Ford Edge
Ford Edge
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

It's going to be the SUV age of the Millennials, according to extensive new research.

It means we are going to see even more crossovers and SUVs on our roads because those in the 17-to-34 age bracket appear to have caught the bug big time.

A new Euro-wide study, by Ford found that many, many Millennials are following in the footsteps of their elders and are either aspiring, or intending, to buy a SUV in the near future.

They say SUVs make them feel 'stylish and successful'. Which explains why as many as one-in-four who are thinking of buying a car insisted it will be a SUV.

Part justification for their decision would appear to be a belief that SUVs have become a lot more fuel efficient and 'greener' over the past few years.

Against that sort of purchasing disposition, it is hardly surprising that some top industry analysts are now predicting that SUVs in Europe will shoot from 20pc to 27pc of all car sales by 2020.

That would mean more than one-in-four cars bought in five years' time would be a crossover or SUV.

With the Millennials also regarding SUVs as a better complement to their 'lifestyle' than a more conventional car, it is easy to rationalise how easily the upward buying graphic will continue its rise.

All of which has convinced experts (as if they needed convincing) that the current SUV surge is not just a passing fad.

When you consider that Millennials account for nearly a quarter (24pc) of Europe's adult population, you get an idea of the sort of volume of purchasing they can represent.

The survey of 5,000 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK also discovered:

* 54pc of Millennials believe SUVs beat other car types at going anywhere in city or countryside.

* More than half (52pc) believe SUVs are better at keeping them safe.

* 84pc of Millennials believe that, in the past five years especially, SUVs have become more fuel efficient and 'environmentally friendly'.

According to Ford of Europe's, Roelant de Waard, there is a trend for consumers to seek out and buy 'one-stop' solutions.

That can be the smartphone that doubles as a camera, media player, and torch, he says.

Or it can be the car in the driveway that mixes the everyday with the lifestyle.

Ford wasn't the quickest off the mark when it came to anticipating the Crossover/SUV boom. But, starting with the Euro-spec Edge large SUV at next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, it is planning on bringing in five new vehicles in the next three years to broaden its battle for a share of the spoils.

As well as that it is updating the small EcoSport SUV and mid-size Kuga this year.

To SUV or not to SUV? What is your preference? ecunningham@independent.ie

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